Sunday, 25 January 2015

National Television Awards 2015

Hooray! I was lucky enough to be at the twentieth National Television Awards earlier this week.  Thanks to a lovely drama contact, the chance of being a seat filler and sitting amongst the celebrities is something I and my family jump at.  There’s always the faint hope that a little bit of their stardust might rub off on us.
          As we waited for direction in the wings of the O2, cold gusts of air whirled around our ankles.  A side door suddenly opened letting in another icy blast and a woman bustled past us gabbling into a walkie-talkie.  ‘Heads up. Simon Cowell has finally arrived. Traffic was awful. Get him in and make it quick.’
          ‘Oh my goodness!’ I squeaked to nobody.  ‘Simon Cowell is going to be here.’  Yes, I admit it.  I used to have a crush on him.  Please note the past tense.  I promise I’ve now outgrown lusting after a man who dyes his hair, has teeth whiter than my Persil-washed shirts, and has so much botox in his forehead that his eyes are in danger of relocating around his chin.  Nonetheless, you can’t deny being a little bit in awe of such a giant in the music industry.  Suddenly there was a frisson in the air as Mel B, right arm heavily tattooed and minus hair extensions, stalked past.  I was amazed how small she was.  Even in her high heels, I still towered over her, and I’m only average height.
          A techie dressed in head-to-toe black and wearing a headpiece suddenly materialised by our sides.  ‘Follow me when I say “Go”,’ she said in a harassed voice.  ‘Okay…GO!’
          The television cameras had started to roll and it was vital we ducked down.  Tripping over camera cables, and resisting the urge not to wave at Alan Carr, I scampered after the techie with my family trailing closely behind.  Trying not to tread on celebrity toes, we threw ourselves into the central part of a row, one in front of the Emmerdale cast, and two behind the Celebrity Juice crew.  Suddenly hundreds of colourful spotlights were whirling about as the audience exploded into rapturous applause.  I leant back into my seat and tried to act oh-so-very-cool.  A sneaky glance to my right revealed the cast of EastEnders out in full force, and to the left a very depleted number of Coronation Street actors following the sudden and very sad death of Anne Kirkbride.
          The spotlights merged into a single beam and there was our host for the night, Dermot O’Leary.  The entertainment was brilliant.  The celebrities plentiful.  Even though I didn’t recognise half of them – not being a telly watcher as such – it still a thrilling night.  Television must add an awful lot of weight to your figure, because celebrities I’d always thought a little, well, dumpy, were actually perfectly normal shapes.  And the ones who you believed to be a normal shape are actually pin thin.  Television certainly adds height to people.  I think the only celeb taller than me was David Tennant.  I swear everybody else was 5’6” and under.  It’s also amazing how some smile and beam away at camera and act so very, very jolly, but the moment the camera is off them they’re really rather scowly.  The cast of Emmerdale tutted and chuntered and rubbished other actors when they didn’t win anything themselves, as they’d consumed rather a lot of wine (judging from the bottles around their feet), and weren’t too quiet about it either.  I won’t mention names, but my daughter’s boyfriend accidentally bumped into one half of a famous duo going through a doorway.
          ‘Oops, sorry,’ said my daughter’s boyfriend.  ‘After you.’  And he politely held the door open for the celebrity.
          ‘Oh no, really,’ said the celeb sarcastically, ‘after you, mate,’ before rudely shoving past him.  As I said, I won’t mention names, but his forehead is enormous.  Clearly to accommodate the size of his big head.
          ‘And you want to go into this industry!’ I murmured to my daughter, as we moved out into the cold night air.  ‘Promise me you’ll never get a massive ego.’
          ‘I won’t,’ Eleanor assured.
          Seconds later she was being tweeted by a dress designer who had spotted Eleanor’s own photographed tweets of her wearing one of their dresses.  Suddenly an offer was on the table of promoting their dresses at celebrity functions.
          ‘Oh.  My.  God.’ Eleanor squeaked ecstatically.
          ‘Careful,’ I teased, ‘your head appears to be expanding.’
          Which reminds me.  Everybody has an ego.  It’s just that some celebrities have one that’s bigger.  And better…


  1. Great post, Debbie, and one I completely identify with. As a scriptwriter I attended the BAFTA television awards and various screening events and it never failed to surprise me how particular actors behaved. And yes, people are so much tinier in the flesh than they appear on screen - something that really surprised me considering I'm anything but tall! x

    1. I don't have any experiences similar to yours or Suzie's, Debbie, but I have to say I found this a very entertaining read. Mind you, even just the mention of David Tennant is enough to spark my interest.

  2. I can identify with all this from the movie and music side, not so much television, having been to many awards ceremonies and yes everyone is smaller in real life. I have often found the smaller in height the bigger the ego. Mr Cowell....used to have to deal with him when he was in A&R at the record company he worked at....not a nice person even then! I laugh when I see what he comes out with - and what he has done to ruin the music business. When he was an A&R guy he would never have even had the 'acts' material on his desk, it never would have made it that far, let alone perform or audition for him. and now...! these events are fab for getting the measure of those whom you may have admired from afar. I love the way the daggers come out and the looks and comments kill you - such a laugh. I am glad you enjoyed it and do go to many more. It is an education.